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May 30, 2014

Small Farm Using Big Technology

This post is sponsored by Indiana's Family of Farmers but all opinions and ideas are 100% mine.

If you have been following my blog, you know that our family farm is pretty small. We have equipment that is older than I am because that is what we can afford to run. Just like automobiles, electronics and houses; farm equipment and technology change over time as well. Not everybody gets to utilize new technology right away. New technology is sometimes considered a luxury before it becomes a standard.

We have learned, though, that just because our equipment is older and outdated, that doesn't mean that we can't keep up or continue to farm. It doesn't mean that we can't utilize other advancements and technology in the agriculture industry. 

This year, we are very excited to be planting a newer hybrid soybean seed that is high in oleic acid. We call it a high oleic soybean. If you follow me on Facebook, you probably have seen me post a few articles about this new soybean and some of the positive impacts it will have in the soybean market. I will talk more about impacts of this new soybean and why it's important in the industry later on in my series. Right now, I am focusing on getting the seed in the ground and some of the technologies we utilize here on our farm.

May 27, 2014

Work or Play

Three day holiday weekends never really go how I envision them to go. I see everybody running off to go camping, head to the lake or have some really cool get together with friends and family.

Not us.

We usually utilize three day weekends to get stuff done

I told myself this weekend was going to be different. I was going to get all caught up during the week and we were just going to spend three days relaxing and getting together with friends and family.

That plan changed with the snap of a finger.

I didn't get caught up during the week. We had some replanting to do on the farm before it rained, I wanted to help my dad with hay and my husband threw his back out. Way out. As in his Memorial Day was spent on an ice pack.

May 22, 2014

Not a City Girl: Part 2

I had another meeting down in the big city today.

I don't get to leave the house often so it's very exciting and refreshing.

But also way out of my element as I've shared before.

I packed and set everything out that I needed last night and turned my alarm back way earlier than usual. A colleague and I had plans to meet an hour before our meeting.

After I got around, I decided if I skipped my daily Keurig date, I would make decent time. After throwing on some shoes and a coat, I hop in the car, crank up Katy Perry's "Roar" and begin zooming off into the sunrise.

Feeling like a gal ready to conquer the world I belt out, "You're gonna hear me rooooarrrrr oar oar oar oar oar!!!!"

I'm bobbing along, the song stops. All is quiet.

Then I hear..... "Meeewwwwwwwwwww"

"Meew Mew"

I'm thinking, "What the heck?" I turn around and our garage/farmshop cat is perched on the center console in the back seat staring at me with those beady, loving eyes.

"Mew, meewwwww."

Oh. Brother.

I didn't think the city would be ready for a barn cat so I whipped 'er back around and took Miss Blazer back home.

Departure, take two.

I'm cruising along, making good time so I decide that I have a dire need for coffee NOW. You know that saying about a Starbucks on every corner? Well, that doesn't apply  to the almost two hour drive into the city. You know, when you actually need coffee.There's not even a McDonald's on every corner. There are exactly 3 McDonald's on the way and possibly the same amount of gas stations.

I decide, McDonald's it is.

May 19, 2014

Getting Older

Yesterday, we celebrated my 29th birthday. It's one of those birthdays I've been sort of dreading my entire life. I've dreaded this birthday because I know it's my last year in my 20s. Not that there is anything wrong with being 30. Or 40. Or 50. And so on.

Being 20something still makes me feel like a kid at times.

It just seems like SO MUCH happens in our 20s. So much all at once. So many firsts. The last 5 years I've also found myself using the excuse, "Well, I'm still in my 20s..." when it comes to various goals, ideas and plans. I don't know what it is about 30 that makes me feel like, "okay, this is it, I need to start getting it together." I don't want the "firsts" to stop.

I guess being in my 20s has sort of given me the opportunity to procrastinate. I really don't know what it is that I am procrastinating. Maybe I am living life in a fairy tale drunken stupor and when I hit 30, it's time to wake up?

I noticed yesterday, when I posted on Facebook about "being old" or "dreading" my age, all of the people my age can attest and agree with me, but my friends a few generations older than me were much more positive and entertained the idea of embracing our age.

We use so many oxymorons when it comes to describing age that I often struggle with deciding is it better to be older or younger? Some things are better older and some things are better younger. But yet, some things are great both ways.

Take wine and cheese for example............ you want those to age. But if they age too much.......

Or a house. New houses are great because you have little maintenance and they are easy to clean. But, they can be boring and less architecturally pleasing. They lack history and stories. Old houses hold stories and beautiful architecture but they are also a lot of work.

A lot of people scare me when they say things like, "Everything goes down hill once you hit [insert whatever age of choice here.]"

I've also heard positive phrases like, "If you start wearing eye cream in your late twenties, watch your calories and get daily exercise, you'll be fine."

I like the later phrase because I'd like to think that if we take care of our minds, our bodies and our priorities, now, getting older won't be as difficult. It may be harder to lose weight when you're older or easier to have higher cholesterol but I think it's something we need to hold ourselves accountable for and take responsibility now before it's too late.

It seems like everyday I hear of someone new getting diagnosed with cancer or a disease that may or may not cut their lives shortly. Sometimes I almost feel selfish for dreading another birthday because I know those people will be CELEBRATING another birthday.

I think I am going to take this year to make some goals and changes in my routine now so when the big 30 hits, I will be ready and able to embrace it. When I am 30, I want to feel 20. I'm going to figure out the secret to embracing birthdays with ease.

After all, we are suppose to celebrate milestones!

And I shouldn't complain because I'm still being carded at restaurant bars. That's all that matters, right? :)

May 12, 2014

Heirloom Tulips

Growing up, I never noticed plants and flowers. They were something a part of my world that I sort of took for granted. I had no clue how much time and care it took to plant flower beds or a garden.

I didn't develop a love for plants and flowers until I started dating my now husband. His home wasn't landscaped. The grass grew up to his house. He had mowed off anything his great grandmother planted. He just didn't want the maintenance. I can't blame him. He was a busy farm bachelor. It was odd seeing a house that didn't look like a home, though. I decided one summer I was going to landscape it for him. Border, mulch, bushes and all. Flowers (bulbs and perennials) intimidated me at the time.

I had no clue what I would be getting myself into when I made this spur of the moment decision. Not only then, but now. It was then that I had developed a love for taking care of plants and watching them grow. When we built our new house, I wanted as much landscape as I could possibly handle. I enjoy mulching, weeding, grubbing and planting. And I can't stop.

Sometimes I like to think that maybe I developed this passion from my paternal grandmother. I've been told that she could make anything grow. Anything and everything. Now, I can't say that I can make anything grow. I've killed several potted tomatoes and I've lost quite a few perennials in my flower beds including some tulips from Lowes. However, I'd like to think I am doing the best I can for as little as I know. It all takes time as there is so much to learn about the different types of plants, our climate and our soil types.

May 8, 2014

Energizing Protein Bites

Today I have my first guest post on the blog! Recently, I had the opportunity to get together at my home with a newer friend, Kim. We sat at my kitchen island with coffee and had great conversation for hours. She brought over an amazing snack for me to try.. Energizing Protein Bites. Not only are they really good for you, but they taste like an amazing peanut buttery dessert! I am so excited that Kim will be sharing this recipe with you. I met Kim through her husband years ago when he and I worked together. 

Kim's father in law owned a flower shop most of my life. My grandfather who resided in Atlanta would call this particular flower shop usually once a month on a holiday or change of season to order flowers for my mom. We always knew when the flower shop van pulled up, we'd get a greeting from my Poppa. Kim and I are going through the gluten free adventure for health adventures so we have a lot in common. She has an awesome story to share. Enjoy!

Thanks to Kelly for allowing me to guest post on her blog! I’m Kim Waggoner. My passion is coming
along side others to inspire and encourage them to create healthy, happy, hopeful lives. My journey to
helping others began in March of 2010. Prior to that I was a full time ER nurse, busy mom and wife but
then at age 35 I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma. My life took an abrupt shift! Over the next 2
½ years I would receive 24 chemo treatments.

During that time I was determined that I wouldn't curse cancer but see it as a blessing! I wouldn’t waste the opportunity I was given to reach out and touch others lives! My focus as an ER nurse was using my knowledge to save heart attack, diabetes or strokes victims but then my focus became PREVENTING those diseases. So I birthed…Waggoner Health. I know what an original name. I am sharing today a gluten free recipe. I made these for my kids and they loved them! So much so that they took them to school and shared them. NOW I get special requests. In fact today I just made a second batch for a bunch of baseball players! So here ya go. Enjoy!

May 7, 2014

Corn in the Ground

Over the weekend, my father in law and husband decided it was time to begin #plant14 and get some corn in the ground. Me? I wasn't ready yet. Us farm wives never really are, though.

It's funny how we wait all winter and ache for spring and planting season but once it's here, it's here. And it's not stopping. I like to help out with the farm when I can and when they want me. It's a personal choice and it's an atmosphere I really enjoy. I'm always learning something new. 

This year I got to help fill the seed boxes. And I thought baling hay was rough. Dan always says, "There's more to farming than just sitting in a tractor." 

He got that quote from his grandpa. There's a lot of truth to it, that's for sure.

You're probably wondering why the corn is pink. Well, it is dyed to indicate that the corn is treated with fungicide and insecticide. This helps the seed grow without getting a disease or eaten by a root worm. Some of the kernels you may notice are dyed purple. The purple kernels indicate the refuge seed. The refuge seed does not contain insect resistant traits. More than likely, the plant grown from this seed will die from disease or not produce a good yield. However, it gives the root worm something to feed on, a chance to mate and repopulate. Although we do not like root worms, we do not want to wipe out their habitat.

The black, grainy stuff on top of the seed is called graphite. It comes in a tube similar to a ketchup bottle and a small amount is sprinkled on top of the seed. This keeps the gears lubricated and working properly. This. Stuff. Is. Messy. No matter how hard you try, it always ends up on your face.

May 6, 2014

The Great Connector of Lives

If you follow my blog, you know my husband, myself and my in-laws run a small row crop operation on the few hundred acres we own. After a long winter and much anticipated spring, we are officially in the fields planting corn and soybeans, kicking off #plant14. We are making very good time as most of our corn is planted. I have lots of pictures to share this week. First, I wanted to share one of my favorite quotes that pairs nicely with a shot of our freshly turned Hoosier soil. 

The beginning of planting season symbolizes a lot on the farm. Right now our fields are a blank canvas. They are opportunity. Opportunity for growth and the potential to help feed, clothe and shelter many across the country and even the world.

Although harvest is definitely my favorite part of being a farmer, there is something about watching our crops grow that I also find to be extremely rewarding as well. Planting our crops is a great time to try new methods, reflect on new innovations and turning the dirt of a new year in hopes of another bountiful harvest.

Most say it all starts with one seed. In fact it does, but it also starts with the soil. Our ground and our soil is so very precious to us. We do what we can to take care of our soil by putting back the proper nutrients and utilizing minimal ground work as possible to prevent erosion.

I was just telling my dad yesterday in his truck that one of the most rewarding things I have felt in my short life is being a land owner.

There's just something about owning soil, the "great connector of lives, the destination of all."

I promise you, it's in good hands. And it always will be.

May 5, 2014

Last Minute Mother's Day Gifts

Reblogged from my contributing post at Rural Housewives of America

Mother's day, May 11, 2013 is quickly approaching! A lot of people tend to tag Mother's Day as a "Hallmark" holiday but I really truly believe that it is a very important day to honor the women that made us who we are today. I am not a mother myself, but I do appreciate all the hard work, time and energy that goes into being a mom. Especially a country mom! Country moms not only raise their children, but they're also the back bone of the farm, the home and the surrounding property. They have a lot on their plate and deserve to be pampered. 

I don't know about you guys, but it always seems like holidays sneak up on me. When you live in a small town, sometimes it's hard to get away to the city to find the perfect gift. I know the best gifts are the ones that are homemade but I also find it hard to get a last minute gift made and put together at times. I think as long as your store bought gift has a lot of thought and practicality to it, it can mean just as much as a hand made gift to any country mom.

I am always racking my brain for the perfect gifts for my mother and mother in law. They do so much for us and I know they don't need gifts to know how much we love them but sometimes it's just nice to do something for them that they normally wouldn't do for themselves.

I put together a list of my many last minute, quick, local ideas I had for our mother's this Mother's Day. Which one did I choose? I suppose I will leave that up to your imaginations for now as I do know they both read my articles :)

This product has been my mom's go-to source for online shopping the last few years. With an Amazon Prime Membership you get unlimited 2 day shipping on any item, unlimited access to various shows, movies and books that you can download right to your computer, tablet or even your TV depending on your options. I think this is a neat product to have but a lot of people are hesitant to pay the upfront cost. If your mom lives out in the middle of no where and does a lot of online shopping, this will be a great tool for her to have! Just think, you can update her membership every Mother's Day!

2. Garden Flag and Flag Holder
I think these mini flags are so much fun! They make a flag for just about any occasion, sports team, hobby or holiday possible. You can get your mom started with a holder and a few flags she can change out this summer. In the upcoming holidays, you can add to her flag collection! Our small home town has several stores with these little flags so I thought this would be a good option and something that may be available to most people. 

3. Pedicure/Manicure Gift Certificate
Your country mom works her hands an feet hard! You also know this is something most country moms won't do for themselves. "There's not point...... My nails will just chip and break being outside all the time.... Why do I need my toes done? I'm always in boots... " Not the point moms! The point is, you need pampered and let's face it, a pedicure, done correctly feels darn good! 

4. Hanging Plant
Most country moms take pride in their landscaping and their flowers! I love hanging baskets because they are already prepared, full and beautiful. Unlike fresh flowers, a hanging basket will cost about the same and can be enjoyed all summer long! Don't get me wrong, I love and support the fresh cut flower industry but I tend to enjoy fresh cut flowers more in the winter. You could also even push the idea further and get your mom a nice shepherds hook or contraption to hang her basket on! You can start a tradition and fill the hook every year.

5. Photographer's Gift Certificate
When is the last time your mom and dad have had their pictures taken together? When is the last time your family had a portrait done? Support a local photographer and pre-order a family shoot! You could even book it ahead so all the work is done, they just have to show up. Be sure to include enough money for the photographer to get some prints made so your mom doesn't have to worry about anything other than having some up to date, fresh portraits around! 

6. CSA Membership
Your country mom may live on a farm but does she have time between everything else she does to grow a garden as well? The irony, I know! You could purchase her a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) membership so she can enjoy a variety of fresh fruits and veggies all summer long! Find a local CSA program near you at To learn more about the CSA Program, visit Stacy at the Backroad Life.

Country moms love magazines! Why? Because they love keeping up with the latest and greatest information, too! Magazines are the most important for those who live out in the middle of nowhere. Pick up the first copy of a magazine your mom would love at your local pharmacy or grocery store so you have something to gift on Mother's Day then jump online and order her a year's subscription or purchase a gift certificate so she can pick out her own magazines or books!

9. Farm or Tractor Apparel
You're heading to the farm store or equipment dealership to pick up parts for the planter anyways, right? Why not pick up mom a hoodie, jacket or tshirt sporting her favorite brand just like dad's! Most stores even carry mom friendly colors such as pink or purple. If she's more of a tom boy, though, stick with the original. Not every girl likes pink!

I hope you guys took away some great ideas from my list. 

Maybe you already have your idea ready to go! Be sure to share your other last minute ideas with us!

Happy Mother's Day to all our lovely moms out there! 

May 1, 2014

Not a City Girl

Today, I came to the realization that I really stink at being a city girl. Okay, maybe not just today. It's a realization that continues to grow as the years pass. And if you know me, you're probably not surprised.

No matter how hard I try to blend in, cardigan sweater complete with scarf, dangly earrings and all, as I venture down to our state capital, I always end up doing something silly to make myself stand out as the token country girl.

If it weren't for GPS, I would never venture into the city at all. There's no way I would be able to navigate without it. I am directional and map challenged. Although, half the time, GPS doesn't get things right with all the construction going on. I sort of just close my eyes and wing it. I really don't close my eyes but I might as well. Half the time I even wonder how in the heck I even got to my destination.

However, despite my fears of venturing into the city, I think it's good for the soul. I love my country life, but I also love getting out of it once in a while to explorer what's going on in the "other world." Maybe get some culture other than my next door neighbor burning tires on a daily basis or a Jehovah's Witness showing up at my door. After all, the state capital is where a lot of important agriculture events take place. Ironically, they don't take place on a farm.

And there's Starbucks on every corner.

Speaking of Starbucks. Approaching my destination this morning, I decide I want to grab some coffee first and maybe a little breakfast. I punch in 'Starbucks' into my GPS looking for one in the area. 83 possibilities pop up. No joke.

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